Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lucubrating through the night...

Dear Gentle Reader,

Last night I lucubrated. 

That's right. I spend my nights, when your Heroine is away, lucubrating for pleasure. 

Hopefully yours.

What a lubricious word, lucubrate.

I quite like it; the word and the action.

I will leave it to you to find out what lucubrate means. (OK, I might relent in the comments section if people really cannot find it.)

Anyway, while lucubrating I was thinking of the Mongols. I imagined hordes of them heaving across Crimea to surround the unfortunates of Kaffa that were about to get the frights of their lives.

And, because I love words, I thought of those hordes...

Horde is actually one of the few Mongolian words to enter the English language. 

Horde is derived from Ordos. Ordos is the Mongolian word for a tent-palace used by ruling chieftains of the nomadic Mongolians. 

The Ordos desert, for example, is named for the sea of Mongolian tents that would be set up by it and on it--as with any cluster of Mongolian tents, there would be at least one Ordos. 

Further, for a couple of centuries, the Golden Ordos, a group of Mongols, ruled large sections of what is now Russia. 

It is from the Golden Ordos that the word horde is derived. 

I will tell you the other Mongolian word to gain common international currency tomorrow, on Wednesday.

Until then, lucubrate with a smile on your face. Maybe you ought to whistle too.

Chris, Regina, and Pommes


Sepiru Chris said...


Hi Gentle Reader,

I relent rapidly, mostly because I know how few hits I generally receive. :)

I just checked on-line, to see what I would find for "lucubrate" and on-line dictionaries are just not as good as they should be.

Generally, I rely on the two volumes of my Shorter OED (Oxford English Dictionary) On Historical Principles, or on memory.

Anyways, while some of the on-line meanings are correctish, many are insufficient.

I hereby reproduce the full text from my Shorter OED On Historical Principles:

Lucubrate (l ͥū•kiubre ͥt), v. 1623. [- lucubrat-, pa. ppl. stem of L. lucubrare, f. lux, luc- light; see -ATE.]³ 1. intr. Literally, To work by artificial light. In mod. use,, to produce lucubrations. 2. trans. To produce (literary compositions) by laborious study. (Rec. Dicts.) Hence Lucubrator, a nocturnal student; one who produces lucubrations. †Lucubratory a. meditative; sb. (joc.) a 'thinking shop'.


PS: Your scribe prefers the archaic, literal meaning. And that is the particular meaning that he uses for the "roll-over" comment for the picture at the top of the post. Also, this is the meaning he remembers whenever he uses this great word.

Sepiru Chris said...

Arggggh! ...Mind the gap...

Where there is a gap in the spelling guide for lucubrate (after the "l" and after the "e" there is meant to be a tiny "i" hanging in the air. Apparently it does not work in blogger.


Junosmom said...

So I Googled it and got "To write in a scholarly fashion; produce scholarship." This definition does not please you? You'd like to make sure you are using artificial light as well? Or perhaps, you like the "laborious" part of the definition, although certainly blogging should be either enjoyable or therapeutic.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hi Junosmom,

Hole in one for you. I want the artificial light. Otherwise my comment on the Tibetans (the mouse rollover on the picture at the top of the post) is unfair. Tibetans work hard, but most have no artificial light.


Cloudia said...

Yeah, jsut you and the Mongols lucubrating. Good word! Did you get my 'moonglade' a while back?
Ah, aloha Chris!!

Sepiru Chris said...


I did indeed, a fine word.


Elizabeth said...

Silly poodlefaker...all who can view your blog can easily find the meanings of the lovely words you find while lucubrating.

Still think you are wondrous.

My newest fave is uxorious. Hope he is.


Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Poodlefakerette Lizzikers,

And then we have uxorious used with the same declarative meaning but a totally different contextual sense...

"...effeminate and uxorious Magistrates, govern'd and overswaid at home under a Feminine usurpation..."

John Milton, Eikonoklastes

Milton (1608-1674), certainly England's greatest poet and polemical pamphleteer, also wrote about Divorce. He was in favour of it.

When seeking Milton's residual value to feminist theory, dialectical logicians delight!